Our main research themes are: Coevolution, Metapopulation and community dynamics, Evolutionary community ecology, Epidemiology, Host – parasite dynamics, Virulence evolution, Social evolution and Cancer evolution
Our team hosts five faculty members:
Alison B. Duncan (CR): My work looks mostly at the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions across a variety of model systems. My main project at the moment is investigating parasite virulence and transmission evolution in response to competition or facilitation with other parasites. This is being done in spider mites (Tetranychus spp. and plant viruses). Recent work has also investigated sex allocation evolution and sexual conflict in the spider mite T. urticae.
Flore Zélé (CR): My research interests lie within eco-evolutionary biology of species interactions, especially host-symbiont interactions, symbiont-symbiont competition or facilitation, and host reproductive interactions. I aim at addressing several issues such as i) host adaptation to symbiont-induced reproductive manipulations; ii) the role played by symbionts in host speciation and reproductive interference; iii) how eco-evolutionary feedbacks resulting from the interplay between reproductive and competitive interactions may facilitate the evolution of reproductive barriers and drive species coexistence.
Emanuel A. Fronhofer (CR): Is generally interested in the evolution of life-history strategies of organisms living in metacommunities. The major focus of his work lies on the causes and consequences of dispersal. He studies the effects of ecological and evolutionary processes as well as eco-evolutionary feedbacks at multiple hierarchical levels, from shifts in allele frequencies to range dynamics. His work combines theoretical approaches and experimental evolution.
Michael Hochberg (DRE) : Uses theory and experiments to study the coevolution between hosts and parasites and between mutualists. More recent research interests include social evolution, and the emergence of complex social behaviours, and in particular, religious behaviour.
Oliver Kaltz (DR2) : Evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions. Main focus: Understanding the role of spatial structure and environmental heterogeneity in shaping epidemiological dynamics as well as the evolution of host and parasite life-history traits (resistance, virulence, mode of transmission). Approach: experimental epidemiology and (co)evolution, using the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata.